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:: People are living longer but with more disability ::
 | Post date: 2012/12/16 | 

People are living longer but with more disability

Life expectancy is increasing among the world’s population, including in the United States, but people are living longer in chronic pain and with physical and mental disabilities, according to findings from the giant Global Burden of Disease study, published Thursday in the journal Lancet.

Seven separate reports conducted by researchers at the University of Washington, the Harvard School of Public Health, and elsewhere gauged people’s health in 187 countries and determined that developing countries are looking more like richer Westernized countries in terms of the health problems that pose the biggest burden: high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.

The new estimates show that, globally, the average life expectancy of males born in 2010 is more than 11 years higher than those born in 1970 -- increasing from 56 years to nearly 68 years. Females born in 2010 had an increased life expectancy of 12 years and can expect to live to more than 73 years of age. Study funding came from the non-profit Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Much of the increase in life expectancy can be attributed to better medical treatments that prolong the lives of cancer and heart disease patients, better control of infectious diseases such as measles, and efforts to improve pediatric health and nutrition. Deaths among children under five years of age declined by nearly 60 percent over the past four decades, with almost 10 million fewer babies and preschoolers dying every year.

At the same time, though, more people are living longer in poorer health, crippled by such maladies as back pain, dementia, depression, and broken hips.

Over the past two decades, overall life expectancy increased by about five years, while the number of years people can expect to spend living in good health increased by about four years.

“For individuals, this is mostly good news,” said Joshua Salomon, a professor of global health at Harvard School of Public Health who co-authored four of the studies. “We can expect to live longer, but we also need to expect that we’ll be living longer with disabilities and we have to plan for added health care costs.”

While welcoming the new studies -- which took five years and 486 researchers from 50 different countries to conduct -- the World Health Organization said in a statement that there’s still a pressing need for better data on causes of death from most countries. Researchers rely on statistical models to estimate deaths from various diseases because countries often don’t keep such data. “Currently only 34 countries -- representing 15 percent of the world’s population -- produce high quality cause-of-death data,” the WHO stated, “and almost all of these are in Europe and the Americas.”

In another intriguing finding, researchers found striking similarities in how people from various countries -- the United States, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Peru, and Tanzania -- perceived the level of disability caused by a wide range of health conditions, with mental and physical health conditions such as schizophrenia, multiple sclerosis, and severe depression ranking highest in terms of their negative impact on a person’s health. Conditions such as hearing loss, vision loss, and infertility were considered among the least disabling.

“We were surprised by finding so few differences,” said Salomon, who led the study, “since there’s a pretty popular hypothesis that people attach different weights to various health outcomes depending on their culture, wealth, and occupations, which doesn’t seem to be the case.”

Countries also share common risk factors that contribute to their overall health costs and extent of disease in their populations. From Europe to South America to the Middle East, high blood pressure, excess body fat, a lack of fruits and vegetables in the diet, and smoking all came out on top as the biggest risks leading to poor health -- ahead of air pollution, lead exposure, and drug use.

That follows the same pattern as in the United States, where soaring obesity rates have led to a spike in type 2 diabetes, which often leads to heart disease. New American Heart Association data also published this week noted that the United States spends $313 billion every year to treat heart disease and strokes, compared with $228 billion for cancer treatments.

“Yes, people are living longer with heart disease, but we need to make sure we prolong their years of being free of illness,” said epidemiologist Donna Arnett, president of the American Heart Association. “That involves individuals taking matters into their own hands by maintaining a healthy weight, being physically active, avoiding smoking, and following a good diet.”

Source:WWW.http://bostonglobe.com

By Deborah Kotz

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:: THE SECRETARY-GENERAL-UN -- MESSAGE ON THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES 3 December 2012 ::
 | Post date: 2012/12/2 | 
THE SECRETARY-GENERAL-UN -- MESSAGE ON THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES 3 December 2012 This year’s Paralympic Games were a reminder of the immense potential of persons with disabilities to soar and to inspire. One girl wrote to a Paralympic gold-medal champion, “Watching as you overcome the difficulties of life, reaching for new victories and new heights in sports, I derive strength and inspiration.” Persons with disabilities have a significant positive impact on society, and their contributions can be even greater if we remove barriers to their participation. With more than one billion persons with disabilities in our world today, this is more important than ever. My United Nations Messenger of Peace focusing on this issue, the legendary superstar Stevie Wonder, embodies the spirit of service to others. After playing a spectacular UN Day concert at our Headquarters this year, he said, “I haven’t even touched one iota of what I want to do for and through the United Nations to help heal this world.” Our challenge is to provide all people with the equality of access they need and deserve. Ultimately, this will create a better world for all. As negotiators at this year’s “Rio+20” United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development agreed, accessibility is critical to achieve the future we want. Together, we must strive to achieve the goals of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: to eliminate discrimination and exclusion, and to create societies that value diversity and inclusion. In order to spur action to bridge the gap between well-meaning commitments and long-overdue actions, the United Nations General Assembly will hold a High-Level meeting on disability and development next year. This gathering will take place as the international community works to forge a post-2015 development agenda, presenting an opportunity to ensure that the rights, concerns and contributions of persons with disabilities are fully taken into account. This International Day of Persons with Disabilities marks the official opening of preparations for the High-level Meeting. Let us make the most of our commemoration by working to ensure that persons with disabilities enjoy their rights and realize their great potential.
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:: Children with disabilities more likely to experience violence ::

Children with disabilities more likely to experience violence

Children with disabilities are almost four times more likely to experience violence than non-disabled children, according to a review commissioned by WHO and published today in the medical journal The Lancet.

Key findings

Findings from the review indicate that children with disabilities are:

-3.7 times more likely than non-disabled children to be victims of any sort of violence;

-3.6 times more likely to be victims of physical violence; and

-2.9 times more likely to be victims of sexual violence.

Children with disability associated with mental illness or intellectual impairments appear to be among the most vulnerable, with 4.6 times the risk of sexual violence compared with their non-disabled peers.

Risk factors

Factors which place children with disabilities at higher risk of violence include stigma, discrimination, and ignorance about disability, as well as a lack of social support for those who care for them. Placement of children with disabilities in institutions also increases their vulnerability to violence. In these settings and elsewhere, children with communication impairments are hampered in their ability to disclose abusive experiences.

“The results of this review prove that children with disabilities are disproportionately vulnerable to violence, and their needs have been neglected for far too long,” notes Dr Etienne Krug, Director of WHO’s Department of Violence and Injury Prevention and Disability. “We know that specific strategies exist to prevent violence and mitigate its consequences. We now need to determine if these also work for children with disabilities. An agenda needs to be set for action”.

Strongest available evidence to date

The review provides the strongest available evidence on violence against children with disabilities. The 17 studies included reflect data from 18,374 children with disabilities from high-income countries – Finland, France, Israel, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States – underscoring the urgent need for high-quality research in low-income and middle-income countries

Prevention measures

Certain nurse home-visiting programmes for children at risk of violence and trainings to improve parenting skills have been shown to work to prevent violence against non-disabled children. These and other promising measures outlined in WHO’s Preventing child maltreatment and Violence prevention: the evidence should be implemented for children with disabilities, and their effectiveness evaluated as a matter of priority.

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities reinforces the need to protect the rights of children with disabilities and ensure their full and equal participation in society. This includes avoiding the adverse experiences resulting from violence in childhood which are known to have a wide range of detrimental consequences for health and well-being later in life. When prevention fails, care and support for children who are victims of violence are vital to their recovery.

The WHO/World Bank World report on disability outlines what works in improving health and social participation of children with disabilities and promotes deinstitutionalization. For children with disabilities who are currently placed away from home, strengthening their care and protection by tackling institutional cultures and structures that exacerbate the risk of violence is an imperative.

"The impact of a child's disability on their quality of life is very much dependent on the way other individuals treat them,” stresses Dr Mark Bellis, Director of the Centre for Public Health at Liverpool John Moores University, a WHO Collaborating Centre for Violence Prevention, and lead researcher on the review. “It is the duty of government and civil society to ensure that such victimization is exposed and prevented."

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:: MESSAGE ON The International Day ::

  MESSAGE ON The International Day

  of Persons with Disabilities

  “Together for a better world for all

  including persons with disabilities in development”

  3 December 2011

 

  It is thirty years since t he United Nations first observed the International Year of Disabled Persons under the theme “Full Participation and Equality”. During that period, there has been significant progress in raising awareness about the rights of persons with disabilities and in strengthening the international normative framework to realize those rights – from the World Programme of Action ( 1982) to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities ( 2006 ) .

 

  More and more countries are committing to protecting and promoting the rights of persons with disabilities. However, many challenges remain. Persons with disabilities experience higher rates of poverty and deprivation and are twice as likely to lack health care. Employment rates of persons with disabilities in some countries are as low as one-third of that of the overall population. In developing countries, the gap in primary school attendance rates between children with disabilities and others ranges from 10 per cent to 60 per cent.

 

  This multi-dimensional exclusion represents a huge cost, not only to persons with disabilities but to society as a whole. This year’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities reminds us that development can only be sustainable when it is equitable, inclusive and accessible for all. Persons with disabilities need therefore to be included at all stages of development processes, from inception to monitoring and evaluation.

 

  Addressing negative attitudes, the lack of services or ready access to them, and other harmful social, economic and cultural barriers will benefit all of society.

 

  On this International Day of Persons with Disabilities, I call on governments, civil society and the global community to work for and alongside persons with disabilities to achieve inclusive, sustainable and equitable development worldwide.

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:: Disability survey ::

Disability survey
has attitude

A new study of employer attitudes to people with a disability has revealed that while bosses believe workers with a disability brought a good attitude to their work, many continued to think they would be less productive.
Participation, Kate Ellis said this was a ‘misconception.’
   Ms Ellis called on employers to recognise the many benefits of hiring someone with a disability and giving them a chance to have a decent job and contribute to the economy.“Employers who hire people with disability will often say that these are some of the most loyal, reliable and hardest workers they’ve ever had,” Ms Ellis said.
   “Yet employers with little or no experience reject the idea that a person with disability could be the best person for the job.”
   She said Disability Employment Services were there to help employers find that productive fit of a person with disability to a job, and assist with any workplace adjustments.
   “Productivity is all about matching a person to the right job,” Ms Ellis said.
   “Everyone needs time to settle into a new job and when it’s a job seeker with disability, Disability Employment Services can make this a smooth transition for the employee and their employer.”
   She said a range of Australian Government incentives and services were available for employers of people with disability and the Government had committed $3 billion over the next four years to assist people with an injury, disability or health condition to have the best possible support and assistance to secure and maintain sustainable employment.
   She said one such service was the Employment Assistance Fund which provided financial assistance to purchase a range of work-related modifications and services for people with a disability or mental health condition.
   Ms Ellis said more than 4,200 people received assistance from the Employment Assistance Fund in the 2010-11 financial year.
  

Source: www.psnews.com.au/Page_psn280f4.html

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:: TTU's office of disability services receives $500,000 endowment ::
TTU's office of disability services receives $500,000 endowment
28 Aug 2011
TTU -- An anonymous donor has given a half a million dollars to Tennessee Tech University's Office of Disability Services. The gift was made to honor the memory of a severely disabled friend of the donor.

The endowment will provide two $10,000 scholarships every year for students with disabilities, as well as match funds for the office to hire a graduate assistant to provide enhanced support to the students who use the office's resources.

"It's more than just financial aid," Chester Goad, director of disability services, said. "There are certain individuals who can benefit from a person who is proactively helping them. It could be academically; it could be socially."

The Carlene Hall Memorial Endowment scholarships will go to students with disabilities who demonstrate financial need and have a GPA of at least 3.0. Hall herself was physically disabled; as a result, special consideration will go to students with similar conditions. However, all disabilities, including learning and emotional, will be considered.

Both scholarship recipients have already been selected for the 2011-12 school year, but the services of the graduate assistant will be available to all. The endowment will fund the graduate assistant for at least the next five years and the scholarships will go on in perpetuity.

The Office of Disability Services works with more than 200 students across academic disciplines.



Read more: Herald Citizen - TTU s office of disability services receives 500 000 endowment

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:: Malaysian government urged to appoint another disabled person as senator ::
Malaysian government urged to appoint another disabled person as senator  

KUALA LUMPUR, July 22: The government has been urged to fill the vacancy left by the death of Senator Prof Datuk Dr Ismail Salleh in 2009 with another disabled person to ensure continuity of representation in Dewan Negara.


Malaysian Confederation of the Disabled president Datuk Mah Hassan Omar said having a representative in the Senate will ensure faster delivery of views by disabled people.

"The representative can also give feedback on government handling of problems affecting disabled people," he said in an interview in the programme 'Kerusi Panas' by Bernama Radio24 here Tuesday night.

The government was urged to separate Disabled Persons Development Department from Welfare Services Department (JKM) due to the different nature of problems.

Mah Hassan said the best option is to create a ministry for disabled people that can coordinate and develop a comprehensive plan to safeguard them.

"Issues affecting the disabled like education, economy and sports are different. Only a ministry will bring about significant change to disabled people."

He is unhappy with participation of disabled in public sector which has yet to reach one percent quota allocated under a Public Services Department directive in 1989.

On the government policy to help disabled people, he said it was very good but weak implementation caused them to lag behind in national development.

Source: http://www.bernama.com.my

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:: MESSAGE ON The International Day ::
International Day of Persons with Disabilities - 3 December 2010

  "Keeping the promise: Mainstreaming disability in the Millennium Development Goals towards 2015 and beyond"

 

 THE SECRETARY-GENERAL

  MESSAGE ON The International Day

  of Persons with Disabilities

 3 December 2010

 

 The theme of this year’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities is “Keeping the promise: mainstreaming disability in the Millennium Development Goals”.

 

 Among the promises made by world leaders at the MDG Summit in September was a commitment to improve the lives of persons with disabilities.

 

 This diverse group includes people close to us – family, friends and neighbours. Indeed, physical, mental and sensory impairments are very common, affecting about 10 per cent of the world’s population.

 

  Disability is also highly correlated with poverty. People with disabilities account for roughly 20 per cent of those living in poverty in developing countries. Worldwide, they suffer high rates of unemployment and often lack access to adequate education and healthcare. In many societies, there are simply no provisions made for this group and they end up living in isolation, disconnected from their own communities.

 

  Despite these obstacles, persons with disabilities have displayed great courage and resilience. But even as we continue to be inspired by those who reach the highest levels of human achievement, such successes must not obscure the difficulties faced by those who live in desperate conditions and lack the rights, privileges and opportunities available to their fellow citizens.

 

  Governments need to do more to support people with disabilities. That means implementing the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. And it means integrating their needs into national Millennium Development Goal agendas. In the Action Plan adopted at the MDG Summit, world leaders recognized that current efforts are insufficient.

 

  On this International Day, let us recognize that the battles against poverty, disease and discrimination will not be won without targeted laws, policies and programmes that empower this group. Let us pledge to keep the promise of the goals alive in the community of persons with disabilities. And let us include them not only as beneficiaries but as valued agents of change in our five-year push to reach the goals by the internationally agreed deadline of 2015.

www.un.org/disabilities

 

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:: New draft resolution on realizing the MDGs ::

 www.un.org/disabilities

 October 2010

 

  New draft resolution on realizing the MDGs

  The Third Committee of the General Assembly deliberated and negotiated a draft resolution on “Realizing the Millennium Development Goals for Persons with Disabilities toward 2015 and beyond”, which will be presented to the General Assembly for adoption, shortly. The resolution will work to promote mainstreaming disability in the MDGs, encourage greater disability-inclusive international cooperation and enable further participation of persons with disabilities in development processes. The resolution also urges Governments and the UN system to strengthen data collection and statistics on disability. Furthermore, the resolution requests the Secretary-General to improve accessibility and the inclusion of persons with disability within the UN Secretariat. The final resolution will be posted on the SCRPD website when adopted.

  

 

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:: New Treatment For Cerebral Palsy ::

New Treatment For Cerebral Palsy
For the first time ever, the FDA has approved a study that will attempt to test the effectiveness of adult umbilical cord stem cells in the treatment of cerebral palsy.


April 04, 2010 /24-7PressRelease/ -- New Treatment For Cerebral Palsy

For the first time ever, the FDA has approved a study out of the Medical College of Georgia that will attempt to test the effectiveness of adult umbilical cord stem cells in the treatment of the symptoms of cerebral palsy. For sufferers of cerebral palsy, this could be the first step toward alleviating the outward symptoms, if not necessarily an outright cure.

Anecdotal evidence suggests this treatment has a chance of working. For more than 20 years, doctors have used stem cells from umbilical blood, and these tests have showed increased mobility in patients suffering from cerebral palsy.

Cerebral palsy is generally caused either by a brain injury or by a lack of oxygen making its way to the brain. Blood from the umbilical cord is rich in stem cells, which are able to divide and multiply, and then transform into other types of cells. In animal studies, stem cells have been able to help injured brain cells recover, as well as replace dead brain cells.

In an interview with the Medical College of Georgia News, Dr. James Carroll, the head researcher on the study, said the study itself could be groundbreaking for sufferers of not only cerebral palsy, but also of all brain injuries. "Evidence up to this point has been purely anecdotal. While a variety of cord blood stem cell therapies have been used successfully for more than 20 years, this study is breaking new ground in advancing therapies for brain injury -- a condition for which there is currently no cure."

During the study, 40 children ages 2-12 will be tested. Half will initially receive stem cells, while the other half will receive a placebo. After three months -- the point at which, anecdotally, the patients should show significant improvement -- the children will be tested by doctors. After this, the half of the study group that initially received the placebo will receive stem cells. All groups will be viewed again three and six months later.

 

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:: TOKYO DRIFT – Class apart: Teaching from a wheelchair ::

TOKYO DRIFT – Class apart: Teaching from a wheelchair

AWT IMAGE 

Tokyo: BORN WITHOUT arms or legs, Hirotada Ototake inspired Japan a decade ago with a best–selling book about his unflagging determination to lead a fulfilling life.  
Now he is taking on a new challenge by becoming a school teacher in a bid to teach the next generation to accept differences in a society that has traditionally frowned on individuality .

"My dream is to create a peaceful world," Ototake said after his first days in the classroom.

"If my competence could bring me even one little step closer to this goal, I would be very happy and find meaning in having been born into this world," he said, smiling.

Author of international bestseller No One's Perfect published nine years ago, the 31–year–old took a job teaching students from first to sixth grades at a Tokyo school when the academic year began earlier this month.

"This is a big day for me," Ototake announced from his electric wheelchair at the opening ceremony of the Suginami Dai–Yon Elementary School.

"Some of you have asked me: but how are you going to teach? Well, you will have to help me in class, like writing on the blackboard. Or else I'll write putting chalk between my cheek and my shoulder," he explained.

As children dispersed after the official ceremony, a handful encircled Ototake, touching at his shoulders and legs, trying to see where they began and where they ended.

Their new teacher, wearing a light grey suit and a pink tie, did not object. Instead he grinned.

Ototake was born with a rare genetic disorder called tetra–amelia which is characterised by an absence of the upper and lower limbs.

is accompanied by his aide Shinichi Ono, who helps him with everything from changing into his gym clothes to driving him to and from home.

But his disability did not prevent him from doing the unthinkable playing basketball and baseball after years of practice adapting the bats and balls to his body .

His passion drove him to become a sports journalist before he finally decided two years ago to study to become a teacher. He will be teaching sixth grade social science and fifth grade science classes, as also "morality" classes from the first to sixth grades.

"There are things that only I, because of my situation, can teach children, unlike other teachers," he said, adding that those things, such as respect and acceptance, won't come from any textbook.

He said having someone with disabilities in the classroom like himself as a child due to his parents' decision to send him to a normal school ? would help create an atmosphere of solidarity .

"Instead of logically and conceptually teaching children by words that discrimination is a bad thing, it is better to have them learn naturally through experience to coexist with a disabled child," he said.

"By only looking at my body you would think it impossible to dribble and throw a ball. But if children could watch me and think, 'Wow, he must have worked hard to do that' they too may feel they can challenge themselves to do something without giving up."

Source: Hindustan Times, 25 April, Delhi Edition

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:: Blind pilot completes 59–day flight ::

Blind pilot completes 59–day flight 

A BLIND British adventurer has touched down in Sydney after a record–breaking microlight flight from London. Miles Hilton–Barber landed at Bankstown airport in Sydney just before 8am (AEST) today. 

The 58–year–old is the first blind pilot to fly more than halfway around the world, travelling through 21 countries on a 59–day journey to raise money for charity.

The father of three, who began his epic 21,722km trip on March 7, has braved snowstorms, freezing temperatures and torrential downpours.

"It's the fulfillment of an amazing dream. I've been wanting to do this flight for about four years," he said. v"I've wanted to be a pilot since I was a kid. Now I'm totally blind and I've had the privilege of flying more than halfway around the world. "The big deal is not me doing this, it's raising funds."

Mr Hilton–Barber, who went blind 25 years ago, is hoping the trip will raise $2.5 million for the charity Seeing is Believing, which works for the prevention of blindness in developing countries.

He flew with a sighted co–pilot and uses revolutionary speech output from navigation instruments to steer a course for his customised hang glider–like plane.

Source: http://www.news.com.au/story

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:: International Brain Awareness week runs from March 8th to 14th 2010 ::

International Brain Awareness week runs from March 8th to 14th 2010.
The week is held internationally each year to promote awareness of neurological, (brain-related) conditions.

 700,000 people are affected by neurological conditions in Ireland. The Neurological Alliance is a group of neurological charities representing these individuals and their families. The NAI and its member groups will be holding a number of events nationwide throughout the week A one day conference in the Science Gallery Dublin on Tuesday 9th March entitled “The Future for Neurological Conditions in Ireland: Innovations and Solutions” will highlight the challenges facing our health service in caring for people with neurological conditions. The NAI Innovation Award will be presented on the day and will showcase the pioneering work being done by charities, health professionals and other groups in improving the quality of life for these individuals and their families.

www.disability-federation.ie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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:: Hope College will kick off Disability Awareness Week on Monday ::

Holland, MI — Hope College will kick off Disability Awareness Week on Monday, April 5, where students, faculty and the public will have the chance to explore what life might be like with a disability.

Events begin Monday with a wheelchair challenge, where participants can  undergo a mobility impairment simulation for six, 12 or 24 hours.

On Tuesday, participants can simulate other disabilities, including hearing and vision impairment and learning disabilities. The simulations run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the main floor lounge of the DeWitt Center, 141 E. 12th St.

At 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, the DeWitt Center Kletz will host a descriptive video version of the film “Shrek,” designated for audiences with visual impairment. The film will include audio descriptions of the on-screen action.

On Wednesday at 7 p.m., Lisa Bartoszek of Lory’s Place will present College Grief 101 in the DeWitt Center Herrick Room, focusing on strategies for handling the loss of a loved one.

The week’s keynote address will be given Thursday by Jane E. Jarrow, president of Disability Access Information and Support. Jarrow is a speech and language pathology professor at Ohio State University and her career spans 30 years in the study of disabilities in higher education.

Jarrow’s speech begins at 7 p.m. in the Fried-Hemenway Auditorium in the Martha Miller Center for Global Communication, 257 Columbia Ave.

Disability Awareness Week will close Friday with an ice cream social from 2 to 4 p.m. in the DeWitt Center Kletz.

All events are free and open to the public.


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:: Charity art performance to support disabled people in Vietnam ::

Charity art performance to support disabled people in Vietnam   
Nhan Dan, April1: The seventh charity art performance entitled 'One Heart - One World' will be held at the Hanoi Friendship Palace on April 11, announced the Vietnam Association in Support of Disabled People and Orphans in a press conference yesterday.

The third National Conference on honoring outstanding disabled people, orphans and supporters will take place on April 12.

The two events which are jointly organised by the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs and the Vietnam Association in Support of Disabled People and Orphans in co-ordination with the Vietnam Television and Media Max joint stock company are in anticipation of the Vietnam Day of Persons with Disabilities, April 18.

After six times of organizing it, the 'One Heart - One World' programme has become an information channel which helps the community get closer to the work of supporting people with disabilities and orphans. The programme is also aimed at calling on sectors, organisations and individuals to join hands to help improve the quality of life for orphans and disabled people.

The Association in Support of Disabled People and Orphans has set a target to provide vocational training for 1,500 disabled people and orphans in 2010.

It will also provide cataract surgeries for 2,500 poor blind people and rehabilitation treatment for 500 disabled people.
Furthermore, the association plans to provide 5,000 wheelchairs for disabled people, 1,500 bicycles and 2,500 scholarships for orphans in 10-15 communes.

Source: http://www.nhandan.com.vn

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:: Charity art performance to support disabled people in Vietnam ::

Charity art performance to support disabled people in Vietnam   
Nhan Dan, April1: The seventh charity art performance entitled 'One Heart - One World' will be held at the Hanoi Friendship Palace on April 11, announced the Vietnam Association in Support of Disabled People and Orphans in a press conference yesterday.

The third National Conference on honoring outstanding disabled people, orphans and supporters will take place on April 12.

The two events which are jointly organised by the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs and the Vietnam Association in Support of Disabled People and Orphans in co-ordination with the Vietnam Television and Media Max joint stock company are in anticipation of the Vietnam Day of Persons with Disabilities, April 18.

After six times of organizing it, the 'One Heart - One World' programme has become an information channel which helps the community get closer to the work of supporting people with disabilities and orphans. The programme is also aimed at calling on sectors, organisations and individuals to join hands to help improve the quality of life for orphans and disabled people.

The Association in Support of Disabled People and Orphans has set a target to provide vocational training for 1,500 disabled people and orphans in 2010.

It will also provide cataract surgeries for 2,500 poor blind people and rehabilitation treatment for 500 disabled people.
Furthermore, the association plans to provide 5,000 wheelchairs for disabled people, 1,500 bicycles and 2,500 scholarships for orphans in 10-15 communes.

Source: http://www.nhandan.com.vn

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:: Oscar for Short Documentary Recognizes Disabled Zimbabwean Woman's Struggle ::

Oscar for Short Documentary Recognizes Disabled Zimbabwean Woman's Struggle
 
March 09: Zimbabwe joined the rest of the world on Monday in observing International Women’s Day one day after a short documentary about a disabled Zimbabwean woman received an Academy Award under the category of Best Documentary Short Subject.


The documentary, entitled “Music by Prudence,” tells the true story of Prudence Mabhena, whose mother struggled to keep her alive when her fathers family took against her mother her for giving birth to a child with deformities. Prudence survives against all odds to become lead singer in a group called Liyana at a government-backed school for disabled people. When Prudence was born, her paternal grandmother feared her congenital defect was caused by witchcraft and instructed her mother not to feed her.


When Prudence’s mother refused to let her child die, her husband threw her out. She raised the child in her rural home but died four years later, leaving Prudence in the care of her maternal grandmother."Music by Prudence" tells the story of the girl's struggle to rise above a world of hatred and superstition into the realm of music, love and possibilities.

With seven other members of her band, all disabled, Prudence manages to overcome stereotypes and inspire some of those who once saw her as cursed.

She is the lead singer of the musical group Liyana, based at the King George VI Secondary School in Bulawayo, the country's second largest city.

The documentary's producer, Elinor Burkett, provided a moment of drama at the awards ceremony, taking a page from entertainer Kanye West’s playbook by storming the stage and interrupting the acceptance speech of collaborator Director Roger Ross. Burkett told VOA Studio 7 reporter Sandra Nyaira that the award was for all disabled children who are told they cannot achieve anything in life.

Source: http://www1.voanews.com

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:: Dutch government upgrades phone access for disabled people ::


Dutch government upgrades phone access for disabled people 
 
The Dutch government wants to make it easier for people with physical disabilities to use the telephone. Deputy Economic Affairs Minister Frank Heemskerk has announced that proposed changes to the Telecom Actwill go into effect within the next six months.

Hundreds of thousands of Dutch people have difficulty using phones. Deaf people and the hard-of-hearing, for example, have trouble calling government services, hospitals and taxis.

Mr Heemskerk suggests these people should be entitled to a Video Relay service with a sign language interpreter to mediate between the hearing-impaired and hearing persons. They will be able to use the service not only for calls to official agencies, but also for private calls.

An alternative Text Relay service will also be offered. This is another mediated system which involves a special textphone and text-to-voice and voice-to-text translation.

The government also wants to make it easier for the blind and visually impaired to get hold of telephone numbers.

It's not yet clear how the improved services will be financed.

Source: http://www.rnw.nl

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:: Coffee shop in Vietnam becomes home for intellectually disabled children ::


Coffee shop in Vietnam becomes home for intellectually disabled children 
 
VietNam, Feb 17: “I still can’t believe it is true. It’s like a dream,” Tam – an old woman said, her eyes shimmering with tears while recalling the very first time her grandson, Nguyen Nhat Trung Anh came out to work as a waiter at a coffee shop.

 

Tam became speechless trying to talk about her indescribable joy the first time she saw her grandson, suffering from Down’s syndrome, carry a tray of drinks to a customer and not forgetting to say “please have a drink, uncle.”

Just like other workmates who have intellectual disabilities such as Down’s syndrome and autism, Trung Anh was taught to communicate and practiced what he has learnt by paying waiter service at a coffee shop, “Humanity Coffee”, lying on a small corner at the end of Nhan Hoa street, Thanh Xuan district.

The coffee shop was opened in 2007 by Sao Mai - a centre for counselling, early detection and care for intellectual disabled children. Sao Mai creates opportunities for the children to access education and training in communication skills and to integrate into the community.

According to Do Thuy Lan, the centre’s Director, children afflicted with intellectual disability have very limited life and communications skills. Therefore, there is an urgent need for compassion and the sharing of responsibility among families and society so as to help these children’s lead normal lives, she said.
Here at “Humanity Coffee”, the children do things that they could not do without training: greeting customers, talking with them, waiting on tables, cleaning up the shop and making simple drinks.

Customers, some living far away from the place, come to the shop to enjoy coffee and talk with the children, which Lan said, is the best teaching method for those with mental disabilities.

Vu Chi Thanh – an officer at the Thanh Xuan people’s committee and also a regular visitor to the shop – said he treats the children like he would any others, and wants to be able to do more to help them become a meaningful part of the community.

Aside from the coffee shop, the Sao Mai centre is working on an aquatic farming project, which will help children with mental disabilities learn how to work with their hands and learn the value of labour.


Source: http://english.vietnamnet.vn
 

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:: ]ndependent living center for disabled people ::

Ho Chi Minh City to open independent living center for disabled people 

Vietnam, March 11: HCMC will open an independent living center for persons with disabilities following the success of such a center in Hanoi, said Vo Thi Hoang Yen, director of the city's Disability Resource and Development program.


"We are dealing with sponsors to open an independent living center for disabled persons in HCMC after the success of the center founded last year in Hanoi," Yen told the Daily on the sidelines of the Independent Living Seminar for Persons with Disabilities here on Sunday.

The center will help disabled persons make independent decisions, be responsible for their own lives, help with community integration and organize activities.

The event was held at the First Hotel in HCMC's Tan Binh District by the program and Disabled Peoples' International in Asia Pacific Region.

Shoji Nakanishi, chairman of Disabled Peoples' International, pinned high hopes on the establishment of such centers nationwide.

"If centers for independent living do their jobs well, I believe the Vietnamese Government will support those centers... and I hope Vietnam will soon establish a network for independent living centers nationwide," he said.

Nguyen Hong Ha, project manager of Hanoi Independent Living Center, told the Daily how the Hanoi center came into being.

"It took us a year to build the center because we lacked personal assistants with qualified knowledge to support disabled persons. Some people have not understood their jobs yet, so they will attend a short-term course in Japan to obtain technology and skills," he said.

He added that the center had difficulty in looking for leaders and a location to operate the center as well as approaching disabled persons to let them know what independent living is.

Founded in January of last year, Hanoi Independent Living Center is home to 43 disabled persons with spinal injuries, poliomyelitis and cerebral-palsy. The center is supported by 55 assistants.

The Disability Resource and Development program and Disabled Peoples' International are running four days of training at the First Hotel for over 100 disabled persons and personal assistants. The training is being conducted by experts from Thailand and Japan.

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